Published: Nov 13, 2013 5:15 PM EST
Updated: Nov 13, 2013 5:18 PM EST

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Only on WINK, students get a lesson in sacrifice. Friday kids at Meadowpark Elementary experienced the life of a solider. 

Trading their backpacks for parachutes and helmets.  These Meadowpark Elementary students took a short walk in the boots of a paratrooper.

"And they wanted me to join the Army," laughs third grader, Rylan.

It was all while learning about that life from those who lived it.

"I was an infantryman, carried a ruck sack, jumped out of planes, did all that crazy stuff but it was fun," says Sgt. Major Richard Bohnen.

Sgt. Major Bohnen spent 26 years in the Army.  He says while this is a lighthearted way to teach younger generations about the military, their message has deep meaning.

"It's important they understand what's happened in the past and why they've got the freedoms that they have today. Like we say, freedom isn't free and that's a true fact," he says.

All month long these kids are honoring past and present members of the armed forces. 

"The flag meant something to me so I thought I should bring it today," says Rylan.

In addition to Friday's event, the children are hanging stars and writing letters to their heroes in uniform.

"We tend to forget the sacrifices that they made in order to make us able to celebrate the freedoms that we have so this brings real life history home to our kids," says Principal Asena Mott.